MPEG-4 Streaming Video Profiles defined

Textual Format for MPEG-4 upcoming

Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands, 28 March 2000 – At the 51st MPEG meeting in Noordwijkerhout, NL, the Moving Picture Experts Group defined a new MPEG-4 profile for streaming frame-based video. This will significantly promote the development and use of streaming video applications on the Internet, that inter-operate across different platforms (PCs, Set Top boxes etc) and different operating systems. The profile boasts the so-called Fine Granular Scalability techniques, that after 1,5 years of work are now stable and optimized. With this type of scalability, content can seamlessly adapt itself to different and dynamic network and decoder load. The quality increases in small steps as layers of extra information are added when, e.g., the available bandwidth increases.

Work is being harmonized with the TV-Anytime initiative (; MPEG-7 is working to support the Personal Video Recorder infrastructure that TV-Anytime seeks to standardize.

A textual specification is being added to the binary MPEG-4 representation. With this, content authors can exchange MPEG-4 content in an editable form. The work has started from two proposals, one based on Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML, see the other on W3C's Synchonized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL, see

MPEG-21 Workshop

MPEG-21 looks at the delivery of electronic content, trying to fit together the many pieces of the puzzle that already exist. The 2-day open workshop with many participants from industrial fora was a considerable success. Based on the contributions, the work on MPEG-21 work has been started, in the form of drafting a technical report that describes the puzzle and names the missing pieces. The presentations will be available on MPEG's home page ( shortly.

MPEG-7 Multimedia Description Schemes

Two new Description Schemes were introduced in experiments: Collection DS and User Preferences DS. The Collection DS allows the description of groupings and relationships for multimedia documents and collections based on structural, semantic, media, and meta information. As an example, a music collection can be clustered according to the period the music was created, according to the authors, or according to the type of melody. A collection of images or video can be organized on the basis of the topic or the genre. The User Preferences DS supports the means to specify user's preferences in browsing, filtering and searching multimedia material.

MPEG-4 usage in communication and Internet services

MPEG is pleased to learn that ITU-T (SG16) has added MPEG-4 Systems and Audio codepoints for ITU-T H.324 (circuit switched) communication terminals. Since Visual Codepoints were already added before, all MPEG-4 technology can now be used in these terminals. ITU also plans to add MPEG-4 Audio/Visual elementary stream RTP payloads to the recommendation for packet-based (Internet) networks, after these have been standardized by the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF). This means that MPEG-4 can be used in Internet communications, where H.323 is widely used. The current draft Internet (IETF) standard has been tested and confirmed to operate correctly and reliably. These tests were carried out by two independent organizations for Audio and four independent organizations for Visual.

MPEG-4 Studio Quality Video

New MPEG-4 technology for compressing video in studio applications were refined and an addition to the MPEG-4 Standard was initiated. This technology allows efficient coding of video sequences with up to 2K x2K pixels per frame. The bit rate can be as high as 1.2 Gb/s for video with studio quality requirements. The efficiency and functionality of this technology surpasses that of the MPEG-2 standard. As an important functionality explicit coding of shape information in the studio will be supported. The work will be finalized in January 2001.

MPEG-4 Animation Framework

MPEG has issued a Call for Proposals for animation techniques for 2D and 3D models. These models ('meshes') are already supported in MPEG-4, but more efficient ways to do animation exist. The Web3D consortium ( and MPEG have agreed to develop jointly this framework to support mutual goals of convergence. Proposals are due by 15 September 2000.

New video compression technology?

The "Call for evidence" issued in December 1999 which asks for new video compression technology to be submitted to MPEG is still in effect; submissions will be evaluated in July 2000. If convincing evidence is received, MPEG will proceed with formal subjective tests.

Further information

Future MPEG meetings will be held Geneva, Switzerland (extra meeting, 31 May -2 June 2000), Beijing, China (July 2000), France (October 1999), Israel (January 2001) and Singapore (March 2001).

For further information about MPEG, please contact:

Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione, (Convenor of MPEG)

Via G. Reiss Romoli, 274
10148 Torino, ITALY
Tel.: +39 11 228 6120; Fax: +39 11 228 6299


Rob Koenen (Chairman MPEG Requirements Group)
KPN Research, Netherlands
tel. +31 70 332 5310

This press release and much other MPEG-related information can be found on the MPEG homepage:

The MPEG homepage has links to other MPEG pages, which are maintained by some of the subgroups. It also contains links to public documents that are freely available for download to non-MPEG members.

Journalists that wish to receive MPEG Press Releases automatically can contact Rob Koenen